Great weather for 35th Boilermaker brings supporters out in droves

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y.(WKTV) From Culver Avenue in East Utica to Whitesboro Street in West Utica, the 14,000 runners of the 15K were greeted by many more thousands of fans along the way.

We caught up with lifelong Utica resident Philip Capraro, who is very proud of his Italian heritage, along Culver Avenue.

He, along with many East Uticans of Italian descent lined the first mile of the race as they do every year, "a lot of Italians still around, oh yea. Yea we're still kicking you know."

Up a ways on Culver, just past Albany Street, is what is known as International Mile.

This is the 7th year the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees organized the one mile stretch called the International Mile.

Along this stretch of Culver Avenue from Albany Street up to M.V.C.C., many refugees from around the world not only lined the street, but many participated by playing in bands.

Some natives of Burma entertained the runners with bongo drums and other instruments.

Jennifer Chard with the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees says the men in this band are also part of an organization called MEAB, or Multi Ethnic Association of Burma, "they help refugees from Burma here in Utica get settled, help them with their daily life, and they have a fantastic band as you can see, they like to come out and support the community at these events."

Another popular spot for supporters is near the corner of Champlin Avenue and Whitesboro Street, where runners have just one mile to go before getting to the finish line.

That is where people were supposed to hear from national recording artist Nikki McKibbin, who came in third on American Idol during Idol's first season when Kelly Clarkson won.

NewsChannel 2 was told by organizers, McKibbin's flight to Syracuse was canceled from where she was coming from.

Those supporters along that section still were treated to plenty of entertainment, as the local band called Showtime played along with the 'Run to the Drums' drumline of more than 25 different drumsets and drummers.

Leo Schwenzmeier of Whitesboro enjoyed the live music and comes to this spot every Boilermaker, "every year, same corner. Some of my kids are over here and they come from North Carolina and they just love to come to Utica and run the Boilermaker."

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